Lawmakers, Citizens React to Orlando Shooting

The horrific events that took place over the weekend in Orlando have citizens and elected officials searching for ways to prevent it from happening again. Minnesota Senator Al Franken posted on Facebook saying the victims “were murdered because they were at a gay club by someone with hate in his heart and an assault rifle in his hands.” Asking, “How many tragedies like this does this nation have to endure before we find the moral conviction to do something about gun violence?” There is a renewed call for bans on AR-15’s, which was not the weapon used in the Orlando tragedy, yet remains a large piece of the nationwide discussion.

Arguing against that point are gun activists and target shooters like Sarah Cade, who say that bans on rifles like AR-15’s – which are almost the exact same as many semi-automatic weapons are “illogical,” stating, “It’s not any more deadly inherently than any other type of semi-automatic rifle. So, to ban a rifle based on cosmetic features is completely illogical and it won’t do anything to solve the problem.”

Democratic members of Congress are arguing that the best way to prevent suspected terrorists from carrying out acts of violence is to legally limit their access to firearms. Executive Director of the Minnesota Gun Owner’s Caucus Bryan Strawser says many believe that background checks would not have prevented this from happening due to the shooter having passed several checks, saying “Most mass shooters would not have been stopped by a universal background check system.”

Strawser claims that the terror watch list ignores due process, explaining, “And I think in theory that sounds like a great idea until you realize that this is a secret government list that’s maintained by unelected government officials with no accountability, if you’re put on the list no one tells you, if you’re on the list you don’t know why you’re on the list, and there’s no way to get off of the list.”

This issue will likely have a major impact on the 2016 elections. Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to cover the gun control rhetoric throughout the nation and here in Minnesota.